how to decide what 'heirlooms' to keep for your kids
I'm making this a separate posting bcs it's sort of a different point.
Two things people said on tre3's thread about whether to keep books from her own childhood (Help me decide):
tre3 wrote: "The dress...hangs in my oldest DD's small closet. I am ready to let it go. She is not. This dress has become HISTORY, a MUST KEEP. My mother didn't assign it that status, I'm not sure I did, but my daughter has."
and: " I have a much harder time giving up those books that were read to my children than those given to me."
and macbirch wrote: "I think it's easier to get rid of books inscribed from you than to you."
As parents, we have the responsibility of preserving our children's heirlooms for them. This is a particular puzzle for me.
I can decide what is important to ME from my childhood. Most of the time. But I still sometimes find myself surprised by how important something turns out to be, to me, years later. My folks cleaned out their attic, and sent me stuff from my childhood. Some of it, I was rolling my eyes about. But then other stuff turned out to be interesting and valuable, sometimes surprisingly so. They refused to choose, and they were right to force me to decide.
So given that--that sometimes I have erred in prediciting my OWN reaction--and added to it the idea that, while I know my children quite well, I am not them, and so I'm not certain what's really important to them even now, it's harder for me to make culling decisions for them.
And I need to--we don't have a full-house-size attic into which I can stuff every piece of paper, every toy, every stuffed animal they've ever owned.
so how to keep the things that really matter to them? Or that WILL matter to them? How to prioritize, what to value, how to preserve someething thta will help them remember a family friend we lost when they were relatively young, etc.
I'm working out my own guidelines, but it might be an interesting discussion.
We can bring our insights from our own reactions, as grownups, to what was saved from when we were young (and for how long), as well as our insights as parents into what seems to matter to our kids.